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Chambers directory picks 14 young partners & associates as up-and-comers; Amarchand, AZB, JSA win most overall citatations

'Up and comers' and 'stars', according to Chambers'Up and comers' and 'stars', according to Chambers

14 Indian law firm partners and senior associates will be named as “up and comers” and “associates to watch” in legal directory Chambers and Partners’ yet-to-be released Asia Pacific 2014 guide.

According to data shared with Legally India by Chambers’, its latest guide features 375 lawyers across 88 domestic Indian law firms that have been ranked a total of 491 times in different practice areas, with Amarchand Mangaldas and AZB & Partners picking up the greatest number of citations.

Upcoming and to be watched out

The “up and comers”, according to Chambers, are partners who “do not yet have an established reputation but who are driving their firm's growth”, while the “associates to watch” are senior associates “recognised for their work in the background of major deals”. [Clarification: The below list does not include previous years’ “up-and-comers” – a list of them is published in the comments below]

‘Up and comers’

  • S&R Associates capital markets partner Bhakta Patnaik,
  • Khaitan & Co competition partner Avaantika Kakkar,
  • Sarin & Co managing partner Nitin Sarin,
  • Rajani Singhania & Partners corporate partner Reena Grover,
  • Platinum Partners M&A partner Gaurav Desai,
  • Crestlaw Partners disputes partner Arun Kumar,
  • Luthra & Luthra employment partner Suyash Srivastava,
  • IC Legal private equity partner Tejesh Chitlangi,
  • Nishith Desai Associates TMT partner Gowree Gokhale, and
  • ALMT Legal private equity partner Dhanya Menon.

‘Associates to watch’

  • Talwar Thakore & Associates capital markets associate Rahul Gulati,
  • Samvad Partners M&A associate Ashwini Vittalachar,
  • Trilegal employment associate Atul Gupta, and
  • Udwadia Udeshi & Argus Partners private equity associate Adity Chaudhury.
Firm Name Individual rankings
Amarchand & Mangaldas 29
AZB & Partners 28
J Sagar Associates 25
Khaitan & Co 21
Luthra & Luthra 17
Trilegal 14
Economic Laws Practice 11
Samvad Partners 11
Kochhar & Co 8
Wadia Ghandy & Co 8
ALMT Legal 8
Dua Associates 8
S&R Associates 8

Ranked performers and stars

“Up and comers” and “associates to watch” are not included in the final ranking for firms, where lawyers at the 10 largest Indian law firms accounted for 163 professionals across all ‘bands’ in the 2014 guide.

Correction: The data initially received from Chambers erroneously stated that the rankings counted the number of lawyers ranked at each firm. In fact, the number in the rankings reflects how many rankings the firm has in different practice areas, with individual lawyers potentially being able to be ranked in more than one area. The error is regretted.

Amarchand Mangaldas lodged the most number of lawyer ranks – 29 - including Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff and Delhi managing partner Shardul Shroff who were two among seven Indian “star practitioners” last year.

AZB & Partners follows on Amarchand’s heels with 28 individual ranks for lawyers including “star practitioners” and co-founders Zia Mody and Ajay Bahl. Mody is the only woman star practitioner from India.

J Sagar Associates (JSA) has 25 ranks by its lawyers, followed by Khaitan & Co with 21, Luthra with 17 and Trilegal with 14.

Economic Laws Practice (ELP) is tied with Samv?d Partners – formerly known as Narasappa Doraswamy Raja – each with 11 individual ranks by its lawyers. Kochhar & Co, Wadia Ghandy & Co, ALMT Legal, Dua Associates and S&R Associates each have eight rankings by its lawyers.

Bharucha & Partners managing partner MP Bharucha, Saikrishna & Associates managing partner Saikrishna Rajagopal, and senior advocates Fali Nariman and Harish Salve are the other stars. Salve is the only individual with two star rankings in India – his previously earned star in the disputes space and now in tax.

The star – Chambers’ highest possible ranking – is given to individuals with “exceptional recommendations in their field”, according to its internal criteria.

Methodology

According to information supplied by the directory, Chambers’ lawyer rankings are not paid for but require law firms to submit details of the work done with client references, which are vetted by London-based researchers with clients and other lawyers. Lawyers are then ranked by Chambers on the basis of “legal knowledge and experience, ability, effectiveness, and client-service” in addition to the departments’ “strength and depth”.

Each lawyer included in the guide is allocated a rank between one and six, in addition to the “elder statesman” and “star” ranks.

Photo by Darren Kirby

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1
Like +8 Object -3 yugoslavian@tishazari 17 Feb 14, 19:39  interesting
In paragraph 8: It is an admitted fact that Mr. Nariman and Mr. Salve are stars, though the assertion about them being senior associates on the rolls of in M/s Sai Krishna and Associates is vehemently denied and the author should be put to strict proof :)
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1.1
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Like +3 Object -2 kianganz 17 Feb 14, 19:44
Hah, nicely put. 'Advocates', not 'associates' of course, sorry! :)
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Like +3 Object -3 Interesting 17 Feb 14, 19:43
Prachi, what about the asia pacific awards? Isn't it supposed to be announced today in HK? Please update us.
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Like +3 Object -3 kianganz 17 Feb 14, 19:47
Award ceremonies we don't generally cover. Nor rankings normally, for that matter, but in this case we made an exception since Chambers provided us with some interesting data that we'll publish in the next few days...
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Like +3 Object -1 Interesting 17 Feb 14, 19:57
Not asking to cover, but Legally India as the name suggests, I would assume pertains to lawyers, law firms etc and the like, so good to know thats all.

In anyways the legal directory has been published and has been released today, post which the awards also would be announced.

I am assuming the above may have been already done now so ties in well too
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2.1.1.1
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Like +2 Object -0 Interesting 17 Feb 14, 21:09
India Boutique Law Firm of the Year - S&R Associates

Best known in the sphere of capital markets, this full-service firm continues to punch well above its weight on complex, high-value transactions. Client sources single out the high quality of the firm's advice and the international expertise of its practitioners as key strengths. The practice has had a successful year advising on major IPOs and QIPs; it represented the joint bookrunners Morgan Stanley, HSBC, JM Financial and CLSA on a INR20 billion QIP by IndusInd Bank. The firm is also gaining an increasingly prominent reputation in other transactional areas of practice, particularly M&A and private equity.

India National Law Firm of the Year - AZB & Partners

Now entering its second decade of practice, AZB is one of the premier commercial law firms in the country. It has continued to expand in recent years, putting particular resources into its competition law group. It is representing Lafarge India in an appeal before the Competition Appellate Tribunal in response to allegations of cartel activity in the cement trade. Aside from competition, banking and M&A remain the firm's most-admired practices. Its active year has included mandates such as advising Tata Sons on its entry into Air Asia (India), a joint venture jointly owned with AirAsia, AirAsia Investment and Telestra Tradeplace.

http://www.chambersandpartners.com/chambers-asia-pacific-awards-for-excellence-2014-results
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Like +3 Object -6 More interesting 17 Feb 14, 23:36
Going by this link, S&R Associates also practices tax and criminal law: http://m.indiamart.com/company/3758591/
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2.1.1.1...
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 20 Feb 14, 18:55
It's been pointed out to me that this is not the 'real' S&R Associates but another firm with the same name...

To clarify, that firm has no relation whatsoever to the corporate / capital markets law firm headed up by Sandip Bhagat.
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Like +2 Object -0 Angry Bird 17 Feb 14, 19:52
Please put up the entire list. Of rated people. This is interesting. Maybe practise wise and firm wise.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon 17 Feb 14, 22:59
Kian , You seem to have accidentally missed Shweta Shroff from the UP and Coming List. Please rectify. Chambers list is out.
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Like +0 Object -3 Anon 17 Feb 14, 23:27
You missed Vikram Raghani, JSA up and coming too.
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 18 Feb 14, 00:40
Don't follow how Samvad got 11 ranked lawyers. Their page on Chambers shows only 6 of which 3 are in upcoming/associates to watch category. Unless you are counting multiple ranks of the same person. It's a bit misleading especially if you count multiple lower tier ranks.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 18 Feb 14, 02:27
Quoting Guest:
Don't follow how Samvad got 11 ranked lawyers. Their page on Chambers shows only 6 of which 3 are in upcoming/associates to watch category. Unless you are counting multiple ranks of the same person. It's a bit misleading especially if you count multiple lower tier ranks.

Dear Kian, I completely agree with this statement - you are obviously counting multiple ranks of the same person - in which case the heading cannot be "ranked lawyers" as it is very misleading. Hope you will clarify or appropriately change the title in the table.
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 18 Feb 14, 02:37
Hi,

These figures are provided by Chambers - I'll check with them, but I suspect that the page might be from last year, so just possibly they got more ranks in the last year?

In any case, as I said, will check with them and find out.
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Like +0 Object -0 Nice one 18 Feb 14, 20:26
Quoting kianganz:
Hi,

These figures are provided by Chambers - I'll check with them, but I suspect that the page might be from last year, so just possibly they got more ranks in the last year?

In any case, as I said, will check with them and find out.



Kian,

The comments in 6 and 6.1 are not really dealt with. You are counting the number of rankings and not the number of lawyers who are ranked. Someone ranked in banking as well as capital markets therefore counts as two rankings. Should you not be looking at the number of lawyers ranked at each firm as well as how many times they are ranked?
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6.1.1.1...
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 18 Feb 14, 20:31
Hi - please see my response below in 6.1.2 and the correction in the main body of the article- Chambers sent us information which wrongly stated 'number of lawyers' rather than 'individual rankings'.

So yes, as you point out, this table shows how many lawyers at the firm are ranked in total. We've asked Chambers for a table with the total number of lawyers ranked and will publish this as soon as we receive this.

Both figures will probably be along similar lines, though they will illustrate different facets of a firm's bench strength and should therefore be interesting.
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6.1.1.2
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Like +0 Object -0 Brussels 20 Feb 14, 23:13
You will "check" with Chambers NOW? And you call this journalism? No wonder every hasty story of yours is replete with errors.
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6.1.2
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 18 Feb 14, 20:09
Thank you for pointing out. There was an error in the data supplied by Chambers.

The data initially received erroneously stated that the rankings counted the number of lawyers ranked at each firm. In fact, the number in the rankings reflects how many rankings the firm has in different practice areas, with individual lawyers potentially being able to be ranked in more than one area.

The error is regretted and is being corrected.

As for Samvad, a total of six partners were ranked in 11 areas:
Harish Narasappa: Banking & Finance, Private Equity, Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT), Corporate M&A

Vineetha MG: Banking & Finance, Private Equity, Corporate M&A

Hatti, Poornima: Dispute Resolution

Neela Badami: Banking & Finance

Siddharth Raja: Private Equity

Ashwini Vittalachar: Corporate/M&A

Best regards,
Kian
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6.1.2.3
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Like +2 Object -0 Scooter 19 Feb 14, 15:28
Neela is the first Nalsarite to get into Chambers if I'm not wrong! Congrats!
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 18 Feb 14, 00:42
You might want to cover that Saikrishna is a star lawyer despite being much younger than other doyens of the profession and he got the star rating last year as well.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon 18 Feb 14, 01:12
Hey Kian. Why are you suppressing my comment? It is factual that Vikram Raghani, JSA and Shweta Shroff, Amarchand are in Chambers up and coming. So why exclude them here. Should i write on Bar and Bench who maintain accuracy?
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8.1
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Like +0 Object -0 kianganz 18 Feb 14, 02:33
We were just checking with Chambers about this, which is why we didn't publish comments in case they were trolling people who weren't actually on the list.

The list we published only includes those who were ranked this year as up-and-comers, not those from previous years. Here is the full list we've now got from Chambers, including also previous up-and-comers:

Aviation:
Up and Comer: Nitrin Sarin (Sarin & Co)

Banking & Finance:
Up and Comer: Vishnu Jerome (Poovayya & Co)
Associates to watch: Neela Badami (Samvad & Partners)
Praveen Thomas (Talwar, Thakore & Associates)

Capital Markets:
Up and Comer: Bhakta Patnaik (S&R Associates)
Associate to watch: Rahul Gulati (Talwar, Thakore & Associates)

Competition/Antitrust:
o Up and Comers: Avaantika Kakkar (Khaitan & Co)
o Shweta Shroff Chopra (Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co)

Corporate/M&A:
Up and Comers: Reena Grover (Rajani, Singhania & Partners)
Anjuli Sivaramakrishnan (Kochhar & Co)
Aparna Mittal (Luthra & Luthra Law Offices)
Gaurav Desai (Platinum Partners)

Associate to watch: Ashwini Vittalachar (Samvad Partners)

Dispute Resolution:
Up and Comers: Arun Kumar (CrestLaw Partners)
Poornima Hatti (Samvad Partners)
Ajit Warrier (Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co)

Employment:
o Up and Comers: Avik Biswas (RDA Legal)
Suyash Srivastava (Luthra & Luthra Law Offices)

Associate to watch: Atul Gupta (Trilegal)
International Trade:
Up and Comer: Sanjay Notani (Economic Laws Practice)

Private Equity:
o Up and Comers: Dhanya Menon (ALMT Legal (Indian Advocates)
o Kosturi Ghosh (Trilegal)
o Tejesh Chitlangi (IC Legal)
o Vikram Raghani (J Sagar Associates)
o Associate to Watch: Adity Chaudhury (Udwadia, Udeshi and Argus Partners)

o Projects, Infrastructure & Energy:
o Associate to Watch: Aakanksha Joshi (Economic Laws Practice)

o Real Estate:
o Up and Comer: Kosturi Ghosh (Trilegal)

o Shipping:
o Up and Comer: Ashwin Shanker (The Chambers of George A. Rebello)

o Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT):
o Up and Comer: Gowree Gokhale (Nishith Desai Associates)
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8.1.1
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon 18 Feb 14, 12:25
few names in this list are missing from your main article. would u like to update the main article pls
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8.1.2
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Like +2 Object -0 Scandalous... 02 Mar 14, 09:56
Trilegal for Real Estate? That too Kosturi Ghosh who is mainly a Corporate lawyer? Truly a sad day for Conveyancing lawyers! At least basic research should have been done by "Chambers"...
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Like +4 Object -1 Guest 18 Feb 14, 03:06
Didnt know Kosturi also does RE, thought she was Corp-PE etc. Nonetheless, congratulations to her and all others!!
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Like +1 Object -0 Guest 18 Feb 14, 03:09
Would be interesting to know who the clients involved in ranking the Up and Commers/Associates to watch were. Given the wide variety of firms they are drawn from!
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Like +0 Object -0 Chamber Practice 18 Feb 14, 11:00
How I wish they did this for Juniors in chamber practice too! Sigh!
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11.1
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Like +0 Object -0 Bling 18 Feb 14, 12:47
Ashwin Shanker is mentioned... he is in Chamber practice...
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11.1.1
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Like +0 Object -0 Chamber Practice 18 Feb 14, 12:53
Right! Good going! but still, one out of so many is a bit disappointing.
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11.1.1.1
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Like +0 Object -1 Bling 18 Feb 14, 14:47
I think the rigorous application process is difficult for most practices to carry through
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Like +1 Object -0 Fair 18 Feb 14, 11:33
Perhaps update the list in the cover story for equal coverage.
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12.1
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Like +0 Object -0 Fair 18 Feb 14, 12:28
The cover story only talks about those who have featured in 2014 list and not the ones from the previous year.
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Like +0 Object -0 Congrats!! 18 Feb 14, 12:48
Congratulations to All these Star Partners!! Well deserved recognition.
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14
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Like +3 Object -2 Law firm lawyer 18 Feb 14, 12:56
Serious doubts about some of the names listed in "Up and comers” and “associates to watch.
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14.1
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Like +2 Object -0 doubtful 18 Feb 14, 13:05
All of them may be doubtful but what matters is that Chambers had no doubt!!don't list them when you come out with your own Publication :)
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14.1.1
Like +21 Object -2 insider 18 Feb 14, 15:21  interesting  top rated
Chambers never has a doubt when the firm pays for the person it wants to be listed.
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Like +2 Object -4 Guest 18 Feb 14, 13:13
Quoting Law firm lawyer:
Serious doubts about some of the names listed in "Up and comers” and “associates to watch.


yes mr/miss sour grapes. chambers is one of the most well resreached and thourough international publications
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14.2.2
Like +5 Object -0 Another Guest 18 Feb 14, 14:43  interesting
Tut tut...oh sanctimonious 'Guest', pray enlighten us does the fact that it is one of the "most well resreached and thourough international publications" (sic, obviously!) make it gospel? Is the exercise by Chambers not an assessment, at best? And therefore,is it not incontrovertible? Think.
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Like +6 Object -0 Anon 18 Feb 14, 14:53  interesting
Parveen Thomas quit TTA and went in house about 6 months ago...
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16
Like +4 Object -0 Qualifications 18 Feb 14, 14:54
Many Congratulations to those ranked! For those who feel they missed out, any ranking in India comes with the problem of missing out - given how large and how fragmented the market it. Even the process has ist own flaws - as Chambers issues a qualification too - firms must actually be [willing to/ motivated to] nominate an individual. After that comes the question of Referees. In many cases (e.g. Amarchand), they would think twice about nominating someone for two reasons - (i) Too many people to nominate, (ii) Fear of poaching. In the Event that an amarchand lawyer were nominated as a "star to watch" etc - he would undoubtedly have been poached thereafter either internationally/nationall y - as has been the case with Guptan, Satyam etc. Even those that are well regarded by the market get poached with alarming regularity (a recent example being Ro by TTA).
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16.1
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Like +2 Object -1 Scooter 18 Feb 14, 15:12
Only Guptan
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17
Like +4 Object -0 Interesting? 18 Feb 14, 15:19
What might be of interest, as well as looking at the total number of lawyers ranked, is looking at how many lawyers are ranked as a proportion of lawyers in a firm and then comparing similar sized firms.

I suspect that will throw up very interesting numbers. For example, large firms such as AMSS, AZB, Luthra, etc, may have 500 lawyers each, but very wide differences between those who are ranked.

Similarly, looking at smaller firms such as Platinum, TTA and S&R and comparing them may give a different take on the story.
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17.1
Like +8 Object -0 Yes 18 Feb 14, 16:55  interesting
AMSS AZB - as expected, top the list. Good to see JSA close on their heels. Number for Khaitan - pleasant surprise. Luthra seems poorly represented closer to Trilegal. Smaller firms with bigger than expected numbers - again, pleasant surprise.
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17.1.1
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Like +4 Object -1 Nice one 18 Feb 14, 19:51
Quoting Yes:
AMSS AZB - as expected, top the list. Good to see JSA close on their heels. Number for Khaitan - pleasant surprise. Luthra seems poorly represented closer to Trilegal. Smaller firms with bigger than expected numbers - again, pleasant surprise.


Completely agree. Smaller firms with bigger than expected numbers - TTA has 8 lawyers ranked, S&R has 5 lawyers ranked, Platinum has 4 lawyers ranked. This is fantastic for firms of their size.
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Like +5 Object -2 haha 18 Feb 14, 20:41
some of these "up and comers" are 35+, an age where people like to think they have arrived. it is a back-handed slap, unintentional.
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Like +3 Object -1 Shruti 18 Feb 14, 21:43
Congrats Aditi! :) very well deserved!
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Like +4 Object -0 Weird 19 Feb 14, 00:17
Only Amarchand lacks client quotes in Chambers rankings. Every other firm has client quotes for the ranked individuals. Chambers succumbed to pressure!
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 19 Feb 14, 13:00
Dear Kian,
No Rankings for Tax
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21.1
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Like +3 Object -0 Scooter 19 Feb 14, 15:32
we will wait for best CA's in the next issue
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Like +0 Object -0 Ray 19 Feb 14, 14:49
Lawyers in India are really into marketing, new guy Chambers and self claimed appellations
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Like +1 Object -1 Guest 19 Feb 14, 14:59
Congrats Avaantika!
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Like +6 Object -0 Alias 20 Feb 14, 20:54  interesting
Great to see people FROM lesser known firm, such as RDA Legal (Avik Biswas), IC Legal(Tejas C.) etc, make it to the list - Up and Comers...
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Like +2 Object -0 Once 20 Feb 14, 21:55
So once an up and comer, always an up and comer? Whats the time duration during which you can continue to be up and coming?
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Like +1 Object -0 Once too many 20 Feb 14, 23:05
Up and comer until you get rated;) Sanjay Notani and Shweta Shroff been there for a while now.
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Like +0 Object -0 up and comer 10 Oct 14, 21:35
Agree that it's a back-handed slap for many. Maybe that's why their respective senior partners 'nominated'/lobbied for their inclusion here- to retain the gap.
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